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Dubai among top 10 destinations for international meetings
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Dubai among top 10 destinations for international meetings

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Dubai has emerged as one of the world’s top choices when it comes to meetings, according to a recent report.

The International Meetings Statistics Report, published by the Union of International Associations (UIA), ranked 1,157 cities based on the number of international meetings that took place during the year. Previously ranked 14th in 2015, Dubai has moved up the list to claim the 10th spot with a total of 180 meetings in 2016, a growth of 24 percent on the previous year.

Furthermore, according to Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau, 97 bids to host business events have been successfully awarded to the city in the first half of 2017. The events secured since January, which include meetings, incentive trips and conferences, are set to attract over 51,000 delegates from around the world, resulting in an economic boost of approximately AED 375 million.

Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “We recognise the significance of the business events industry, and acknowledge the various growth facets each event brings to the city. Not only do they accelerate our journey towards becoming a knowledge-sharing economy, but business events are also major contributors towards our goal of welcoming 20 million visitors each year by 2020.”

Regarding the UIA rankings, he stated: “With these latest UIA rankings it is once again clear that Dubai is now not only the regional leader in the sector, but also a major destination on the global stage for business events.”

Dubai is the only city in the Middle East and Africa to appear in the top 25 in the rankings, further underlining its status as the region’s number one destination for international meetings and conferences.

The new ranking is a testament to the growth Dubai has achieved in the sector over the past five years. In 2012, Dubai ranked 26th with a total of 76 international meetings.

Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, said: “Dubai’s business events industry has undoubtedly grown over the past decade, and we are very proud that the city is being regarded as one of the top 10 international meetings destinations, competing with over 1,100 worldwide destinations for the spot.

“We have worked very hard to achieve this status, with strong support from public and private partners, including Dubai World Trade Centre, hotels, Emirates, flydubai and other meetings industry suppliers.

“We are aiming to continue enhancing our offering to remain competitive and further propel Dubai’s ranking in the years to come.”